Wednesday 21 April 2004
April 20, 2004
World: Is Raising State Salaries Enough To Combat Corruption?
In a bid to stem corruption, Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree raising the salaries of government ministers, as well as thousands of lower-level state employees. Is the wage boost likely to have the desired effect, and what are the most effective strategies for keeping a nation's civil servants honest?
April 14, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Kulov's Supporters Attempting To Keep His Name In International Spotlight
It's been four years since Feliks Kulov was initially arrested on charges of abuse of power. It marked the beginning of the Kyrgyz opposition leader's travails, troubles that would see him tried twice and put in jail, where he remains today. Now, the Justice Ministry is denying reports Kulov is soon to be freed. The announcement comes as supporters are planning another march to draw attention to Kulov's plight and demand his release.
April 09, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Narrowly Survives Confidence Vote
Kyrgyzstan's prime minister narrowly avoided being dismissed yesterday in a confidence vote in the upper house of parliament. Some deputies accused Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev of financial abuses, but others said the move was precipitated for purposes of pre-election positioning, with both parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for next year.
April 07, 2004
World: Freedom House Report Highlights Countries With Democratic Deficits
The U.S.-based pro-democracy organization Freedom House has issued a report that examines the problems and hurdles facing democratic development in 30 countries. The report concludes that Uzbekistan is one of the most repressive countries in the world. It also says democratic efforts in Kyrgyzstan have stalled, as they have in Armenia and Ukraine. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are described as having authoritarian systems.
March 24, 2004
Central Asia: 'World TB Day' Observed Amid Concerns Of Epidemic
World Tuberculosis Day is raising attention about one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. In the next 20 years, an estimated 1 billion people will be infected with TB, and some 36 million will die of the disease.
March 18, 2004
Central Asia: EU Commissioner Wraps Up Regional Visit
EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten ends tomorrow his five-day tour to Central Asia after meeting the presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. During the visit, the first to the region by a European commissioner since 1996, Patten stressed that a sustainable and fruitful relationship requires tangible steps in the four republics to consolidate civil rights and the rule of law.
March 15, 2004
Central Asia: EU Commissioner Begins Rare Tour Of Region
Chris Patten, the European Union's external relations commissioner, today embarks on a rare tour of Central Asia. The visit will take in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan -- bypassing Turkmenistan, which the EU views as undeserving of closer ties. EU officials say Patten will bring a "balanced message," urging greater political and economic reforms, while also recognizing the growing importance of the region in EU foreign policy thinking.
March 11, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Lawmakers Demand Justice Over 2002 Aksy Killings
Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan are renewing their criticism of the authorities for failing to punish those responsible for the killing of pro-opposition demonstrators in the southern Aksy Raion in 2002. And for the first time, the secretary of the Kyrgyz Security Council is acknowledging that those who shot at protesters did so intentionally and should be held accountable.
March 05, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Congress On Russian Language Held In Bishkek Amid Concerns
A three-day international congress on the Russian language in the Commonwealth of Independent States is being held in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev is taking this opportunity to address concerns about a controversial new law requiring the country's officials to know Kyrgyz.
February 26, 2004
World: U.S. State Department Issues Critical Report On Global Human Rights
The U.S. State Department has released its annual report on human rights around the world. Secretary of State Colin Powell called the report a vital instrument not just for informing the public but for guiding U.S. foreign policy. From Washington, RFE/RL correspondents Jeffrey Donovan and Frank T. Csongos report.